Olivia Steele-Mortimer, Deputy Chief of Laboratory of Bacteriology

Olivia Steele-Mortimer, Deputy Chief of Laboratory of Bacteriology

8th September at 16:00
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Olivia Steele-Mortimer, Deputy Chief of Laboratory of Bacteriology, Chief of Salmonella-Host Cell Interactions Section, NIH Institute of Allergy & Infectious

Salmonella & Society


Salmonella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family. There are two species of Salmonella, Salmonella bongori and Salmonella entericaSalmonella enterica is further divided into six subspecies with over 2,500 serovars many of which cause infection in humans and other animals. In humans three major diseases are caused by Salmonella: Typhoid fever, non-Typhoidal salmonellosis and invasive non-Typhoidal salmonellosis. Together these have accounted for much human suffering and morbidity over the ages. Historically Typhoid fever has been the most prominent of the three diseases, being associated with wars and turmoil as well as some fascinating human characters, including Almroth Wright, a brilliant but controversial scientist who was vehemently opposed to women’s suffrage, and Mary Malone, the tragic Irish immigrant in New York who was the first identified asymptomatic carrier. Today Salmonella still cause millions of deaths every year, but they are also being developed as novel vaccine platforms and cancer therapeutics.


Dr. Steele-Mortimer received her Ph.D. in cell biology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in 1994. From 1995 to 1999, she did postdoctoral research on Salmonella-host cell interactions in the laboratory of B. Brett Finlay at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, followed by one year at Washington University, St. Louis, with Phillip D. Stahl. She came to the National Institutes of Health in 2001 and became a tenured senior investigator in 2007. Dr. Steele-Mortimer is an associate editor ofMicrobial Pathogenesis and is a member of the editorial board of Traffic.